The New York Yankees are as hot as the summer-like weather in the East and Midwest parts of the country, meanwhile the Chicago Cubs have now lost 12 games in a row. Here’s what’s happening this week in Major League Baseball:


Derek Jeter Passes George Brett on All-Time Hits List as Yankees Win Fifth in a Row

Longtime New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter moved into sole possession of 14th place on baseball’s all-time hits list when he singled against the A’s during a 2-0 Yankees’ victory in Oakland on Sunday afternoon. Jeter’s first inning hit was his 3,155th, one more than former Kansas City Royals’ third baseman George Brett recorded during his Hall of Fame career. The victory gave the Yankees (26-21) a season-high fifth straight win and moved them within 2.5 games of Tampa Bay and Baltimore, who are tied for first-place in the American League East.

Roy Halladay Removed From Game With Shoulder Soreness

Philadelphia Phillies’ pitcher Roy Halladay left his start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday after the second inning. The two-time Cy Young Award-winner has apparently pitched with the injury for his last few starts, but after it flared again, pitching coach Rich Dubee yanked him from the game. Halladay had already given up a first inning grand slam to St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, part of the Cardinals’ 8-3 win that averted a four-game sweep at the hands of the Phillies. Halladay is due to be examined by doctors on Tuesday. Losing Halladay for any length of time could damage Philadelphia’s playoff chances. Already without first baseman Ryan Howard and second baseman Chase Utley, the Phillies (25-24) are in last place in the National League East, the division they have won five consecutive times.

Chicago Cubs Lose 12th Game in a Row

After Sunday’s 10-4 loss to the Pirates, the Chicago Cubs (15-32) have the worst record in the National League. Already 12 games behind the first-place Cincinnati Reds, Dale Sveum’s team has gotten spotty offense throughout the entire season. Sveum must shake up the Cubs’ lineup, perhaps including bringing up prospect Anthony Rizzo, or ownership may decide it needs someone else to guide the team in the National League Central.

Play of the Week: Justin Maxwell, Houston Astros

The Houston Astros are one of baseball’s most improved teams this season. Part of the reason for their turnaround is contributions from unknown young players like center fielder Justin Maxwell. Watch as he robs Tony Gwynn Jr. of extra bases during Houston’s 3-1 win in Los Angeles on Friday night.

Upcoming Series To Watch: Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

On the strength of an explosive offense featuring Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and more, the White Sox (26-22) have won five games in a row and now trail the Cleveland Indians by just a half-game in the American League Central. Chicago travels to Florida to face the Rays in a three-games series that starts on Monday. Tampa Bay caught the Orioles in the American League East on Sunday. Joe Maddon’s team looks primed to use its deep pitching to move ahead in the East. Matt Moore, James Shields and Alex Cobb will start in this series.

Fantasy Player To Add: Dayan Viciedo, Chicago White Sox

Hitting in a White Sox lineup that has a red hot Adam Dunn and consistently productive Paul Konerko has helped outfielder Dayan Viciedo put up big numbers this season. With 10 home runs and a .774 on-base plus slugging percentage in 43 games, Viciedo looks like he’s turned into a big league producer. Time to add him to your outfield mix.

Fantasy Player to Drop: Matt Garza, Chicago Cubs

Matt Garza has given up a total of 13 earned runs in eight innings over his last two starts, including five against the Pirates on Sunday. The normally dependable Garza allowed five home runs in those two starts. While it could be just a rough patch, it’s hard to rely on Garza for fantasy purposes. He certainly will not have an opportunity to record many wins while he remains a member of the woeful Cubs.